Thursday, January 28, 2010

My comments on some of the main points of his speech

"To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn't keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need."

Who does this hurt? The little guy, of course. Big banks will raise fees to recoup what Obama is taking from them. If you don't like the big banks, Mr. Obama, break them up, like Teddy Roosevelt did with Standard Oil or the railroads or as the government did with ATT. All this does is highlight, once again, that you think the government is out of money, which means you fundamentally don't understand our monetary system.

"Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95% of working families."

This was his tax cut for 95% of working families that he promised on the campaign?? What a joke. It equated to about $8 per week, on average, for workers.

"A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes."

Profits at the biggest financial institutions have been surging and they have a $trillion in excess reserves, yet it has done nothing to help businesses and individuals access credit. The fact is, you have it backward, Mr. President. A strong economy, that is operating at full output and employment, ensures a strong and healthy financial market.

"But that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy."

So, are you against financial speculation that is driving up the cost of food and fuel? Will you close the loopholes contained in the current bill that allows big banks to continue to engage in this sort of stuff? No. More empty rhetoric here.

"...we need to export more of our goods. Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America. So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America. To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security."

What an idea! Let's ship large amounts of our national product to other countries so that foreigners have the benefit of these goods and services. Then American workers can use their newfound earnings to live at subsistence levels in a nation of relative scarcity, where prices are high and growth remains subdued. And just how do you double U.S. exports so quickly, Mr. President? Weaken the dollar? Erect trade barriers? These are the only means to do this, which translates into a decline in the real terms of trade for Americans. This is a gold-standard approach to solving problems that exist in the era of modern money. Totally stupid and harmful to workers.

"But families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year."

That's because families do not issue currency, Mr. President. The Federal Government does. You've been brainwashed by the hard right, fiscally conservative, Austrian economics coterie. Too bad for all of us. With households and now the government pulling back on spending, this won't be a "belt tightening," it'll be a tight noose around the neck.

"Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years."

Goes against every principal a first-year college student would learn in "Macro 101."

"I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans. And when the vote comes tomorrow, the Senate should restore the pay-as-you-go law that was a big reason why we had record surpluses in the 1990s."

"Pay-go," a deficit reduction commission...why don't you put us on a gold standard while you are at it?

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